By Peg McRoy Glover
Becca VanSlyke is Hendricks County’s 2021 4-H Queen. She took the top honor at the 4-H Fair’s annual queen contest that culminated on the evening of Saturday, July 10.
“The moment they called my name I was in total shock!” said VanSlyke. “Hearing my name being called just didn’t seem real. It felt like a dream. This is such a great honor. I am excited and ready to do everything in my power to help make the fair great.”
The field of 22 queen hopefuls was first paired down to ten semifinalists and then to five. The five finalists include Princesses Amanda Fulcher (Indiana Connections Academy), Emma Gregory (Heritage Christian High School), Elly Roessler (Roncalli High School), Princess and First Runner-Up Lily Kuhlmeyer (Danville High School), and Queen Becca VanSlyke (Tri-West High School).
Karmen Franklin (IUPUI) was voted by her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality. Rylea Pedigo (Plainfield High School) was named the Carol Hitch Memorial Award winner, an honor started in 1995 to recognize the contestant who demonstrates the most improvement during the contest workshops.
Workshops were given throughout the past five weeks on make-up, hair, wardrobe, modeling,
interview methods, and walking the runway.
“The contest is such a great opportunity for the girls to learn interview skills, poise, and make
new friends. They start as a cocoon and turn into butterflies,” said Dawn West, committee chair
for the queen contest. “I always tell the queen to enjoy her time as queen. It is a great time to
do things for the community and 4-H program. They are such a great role model for younger
There are four segments in the judging process. An interview between a contestant and the
committee happens in the week prior to the Saturday evening event. The interview process
carries 50% of the judging process. On Saturday night the contestants are judged on
professional attire (20%), formal wear (20%), and stage presence (10%).
“During my interview I felt very confident and relaxed,” said VanSlyke. “Before I walked on
stage for the professional attire part, I was stressing out because my skirt kept wrinkling. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I had practiced for this, I was ready, and I just needed to be myself and genuine. I was more relaxed for the formal wear part. I was very comfortable in my ball gown. I love the dress and it fits me well.”
In addition to tiaras, flowers, and various gifts, scholarships are awarded to the queen, her
court, and miss congeniality. The queen receives a $1,000 scholarship, the runner-up $500, the
queen’s court $100, and miss congeniality $100.
The queen and her court will be at all shows to present awards, attend grandstand events,
greet guests at the fair, and participate in many activities during the run of the fair.
The Hendricks County 4-H Fair runs from July 18-24 at the fairgrounds, 1900 East Main Street in Danville. For more information go to https://www.4hcomplex.org./